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The lifting benefits of Botox

Written by
Chloë James

If we asked you to name any cosmetic treatment, you’d probably reply with Botox. The muscle-relaxing injectable is so famous that pretty much anyone could give an overview of its wrinkle-busting abilities (even if they don’t always understand the specifics).

What you might not know, however, is that Botox doesn’t just smooth out fine lines. Injected into the right spots, it can help tackle the natural sagging that comes with age – whether that’s brows that seem to sit lower and heavier than before, or stubborn jowls on the neckline. It can even subtly alter the shape of your face. But which features does it lift best, and how?

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Your area-by-area guide to lifting with Botox

Whatever you’re trying to achieve with Botox, the process is always the same. Botox – or, to use its full name, botulinum toxin – is injected into a specific muscle. Once it’s had time to fully kick in (which usually takes around one to three weeks) it blocks the signals causing the muscle to contract.

When you’re fighting wrinkles, this stops the muscles from creasing the skin. But when you’re trying to lift an area, it’s used to strategically weaken the specific muscles dragging it down.

Brows

There are two sets of muscles fighting for control of your eyebrows. One pulls them down, and the other pulls them up. Gravity obviously makes the job of the latter slightly tougher. So, when our muscles and collagen supplies naturally weaken with age, we’re left at a disadvantage. That’s what causes a naturally furrowed, frowning expression that can make you look far more serious than you feel.

To soften the impact, a ‘Botox brow lift’ injects – and relaxes – the muscles dragging brows down. Without this downward force, the upward-pulling muscles are in control. Brows look higher and more arched, helping you to look more awake and alert. Or, if you just want to accentuate the eye area, it can also create more space around your eyelids. The more Botox used, the more dramatic the results.

Nose

Have you ever heard someone say that our nose never stops growing? Well, it turns out that’s not technically true. Instead, a combination of gravity and our facial expressions can cause it to droop over the years. It doesn’t grow, per se. It just starts to look longer.

Admittedly, that doesn’t really sound like any consolation, but this drooping is pretty easy to treat. Injected in between the nostrils, Botox relaxes the depressor muscle. While your nose isn’t lifted, it’s pulled down with less strength when you smile or laugh, which can make it look more refined.

Alternatively, it can be injected into your nostrils if they tend to flare when you talk. This stops them from expanding too widely, which can make the nose look slimmer.

Lips

To be clear: Botox is no substitute for filler and can’t add volume to your lips. What it can do is enhance the appearance of the top lip – especially if you’re conscious that it lifts and shows your gums when you smile.

Commonly known as the ‘Botox lip flip’, it works by injecting tiny amounts of Botox along the lip line. When the muscle here is relaxed, the upper lip appears to ‘flip’ slightly upwards. Not only does this mask a gummy smile, but it can give the illusion of a bigger top lip.

If you find that your lips naturally rest in a downturned (or ‘sad’) expression, Botox can also target the muscles that pull on the mouth. This lifts its resting position – not into an eerie permanent smile, but into an expression that’s more neutral than frown-like.

Chin

Overactive muscles are responsible for the change in our chin as we age. Flexing more often than before, they can cause the area to look dimpled. Some people call this phenomenon a “a peau d’orange chin”, “orange peel chin”, or “golf ball chin” because of its bumpy texture.

Thankfully, calming overactive muscles is Botox’s forte. Once they’re relaxed, they can’t contract enough to dimple. The chin is left tighter, smoother, and more defined.

Jawline and jowls

Between talking, eating, and grinding our teeth, we rarely give our jaw time to relax. Over time, this effort can show in our jaw muscles. Think of it as any other kind of strength training. Our biceps get bulkier when we work out, and the same logic applies to the jaw.

But when you relax these muscles, they appear slimmer. Botox is injected into the masseter – which is the bulge you can feel just in front of your ears when you bite down – to partially paralyse the muscle. The result is a sharper, narrower, contoured jawline, and a more heart-shaped face. Some people even describe it making their cheeks look higher, too. Bonus.

This same process can also reduce the appearance of jowls, AKA sagging skin around the jawline. These are common as the skin grows thinner and loses elasticity (special shoutout to collagen for abandoning us as we age). While Botox won’t directly tackle loose or excess skin, it can stop the muscles underneath from contracting.

Neck

That Botox in the neck is often nicknamed the ‘Nefertiti neck lift’ should tell you a lot about what to expect. The ancient Egyptian queen is famous even today for her slender, sculpted neck. And for those conscious of loose or excess skin in the area, that’s the goal.

Aging is the main reason behind these changes, but there are other factors at play, too. The neck is all too easy to neglect with SPF, and the resultant sun damage can cause premature fine lines and wrinkles. We’re also increasingly prone to ‘tech neck’, a name given to the fine lines and loose skin caused by bending our neck too much to use our phones, laptops, and other devices.

How does Botox help? From the lower jaw down, small doses are injected into the lateral neck muscles. This smooths out and rejuvenates the skin, which can make the neck appear longer and more contoured. Results aren’t as dramatic as a facelift, but it’s still an effective alternative for anyone who wants to avoid surgery.

Lifting with Botox

From your brows to your neck, Botox is a handy tool for lifting any part of the face. Results may not be permanent, but it’s quick, easy, and – best of all – requires no surgery whatsoever. Lift away.

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